Australian aid to Afghanistan

18 July 2011

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Dr Ravi Tomar
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Section


Development Assistance Facility for Afghanistan (DAFA)
Australian supported programs in 2009–10
At the national level
In Uruzgan Province
Australian Federal Police (AFP) contribution
Reconstruction and relief assistance by the Australian Defence Force (ADF)
Defence—AusAID Partnership Agreement
Budget 2011–12


In the nine years to 2010–11, Australia had cumulatively provided about $740.7 million in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Afghanistan. A further estimated $165.1 million is provided for in the 2011–12 Budget. (See Table 1 below)

This Background Note is a compilation of information from various official sources to provide a clearer picture of organisations/projects that have been recipients of Australia’s ODA to Afghanistan.

Table 1: Australia’s ODA to Afghanistan 2001–02 to 2011–12 (current prices $’000)


26 486


21 471


23 741


22 794


20 683


77 222


137 918


155 900


113 300


(expected outcome) 141 200


(budget estimate) 165 100


905 800


1. AusAID, Statistical Summary, various years, viewed 7 July 2011

2. Statement by The Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Budget: Australia’s international development assistance program 2011–12, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 10 May 2011, p. 5, viewed 7 July 2011,

Australia’s aid priorities for Afghanistan are outlined in Australia’s strategic approach to aid in Afghanistan 2010–2012.[1]

Development Assistance Facility for Afghanistan (DAFA)

The AusAID funded Development Assistance Facility for Afghanistan (DAFA) aims to build capacity at the national and provincial level within four Afghan Ministries: Agriculture, Health, Education and Rural Rehabilitation and Development. It commenced on 1 March 2009 and will deliver a program worth $35 million over three years.[2] GRM International is the managing contractor for DAFA. The contract commenced on 1 March 2009. It is valid till April 2012 and is worth $13.2 million.[3]

The table below provides details of AusAID funded expenditure by organisations in Afghanistan before the commencement of DAFA.

Table 2: Breakdown of expenditure by organisations in Afghanistan 2005–06 to 2008–09[4]

Organisation name

Total amount disbursed ($)

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

1 500 000

Afghan Interim Authority

16 761

Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan

915 049

Asian Development Bank

975 729

Australia Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific

10 500


150 000

Australian Red Cross Society (Afghanistan Red Crescent Society)

1 750 912

Australians Care for Refugees

175 000

Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia)

2 126

CARE Australia

2 655 904

Caritas Australia

50 000

Christian Blind Mission International (Australia)

1 000 000

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

986 145

IDP Education Pty Ltd

341 639

International Committee of the Red Cross

14 700 000

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

25 000

International Organisation for Migration

982 871

ISAF Post Operations Fund (NATO Rapid Response Fund)

500 000

Norwegian Refugee Council

300 000

Overseas Development Institute

60 000

Oxfam Australia T/A Community Aid Abroad

50 000

Save the Children UK

282 852

Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprise

48 090

Tear Australia Inc

363 075

The Asia Foundation

4 182 778

United Nations Mine Action Service/United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre for Afghanistan

12 500 000

United Nations Development Program

26 041 536

United Nations Children’s Fund

3 149 026

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

14 100 000

United Nations Office for Project Services

326 966

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

850 000

World Bank

69 000 000

World Food Programme

24 250 000

World Vision Australia

1 385 668

Australian supported projects underway in Afghanistan in 2010:[5]

  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • National Solidarity Program (World Bank Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF))
  • Microfinance Investment Support Facility (ARTF)
  • National Rural Access Program (ARTF)
  • Enhancing Rural Livelihoods (Aga Khan Foundation)
  • Wheat and Maize Production (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR))
  • Livelihoods and Capacity Building – Scoping study (ACIAR)
  • Governance
  • Unpreferenced recurrent cost financing – Afghan public service operational/salary costs (ARTF)
  • Strengthening the capacity of key Afghan Ministries to deliver services to the Afghan people (Development Assistance Facility for Afghanistan (DAFA)
  • Afghanistan Elections (United Nations Development Programme and The Asia Foundation)
  • Supporting the promotion, protection, and monitoring of human rights in Afghanistan (Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission)
  • Delivery of Basic Services (e.g. Health and Education) in Afghanistan
  • Australian Development Scholarships – Capacity building scholarships to Australia (GRM International Pty Ltd, Australian Universities)
  • Malaysia: Australian Education Project for Afghanistan Phase 1 and 2 – Master teacher training (DAFA)
  • Education Quality Improvement Project (ARTF)
  • Technical Vocation Education and Training—Scoping study (DAFA)
  • Supporting Australian Defence Force Activities—Health and education in Uruzgan Province (Australian Defence Force)
  • Community Based Primary Education (Care Australia)
  • Basic Package of Health Services (ARTF)
  • Emergency Medical Care (International Committee of the Red Cross and Afghanistan
    Red Crescent Society)
  • Support to International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Afghan Red Crescent Society (Australian Red Cross)
  • Uruzgan School Health Program (Save the Children UK and Afghan Health and Development Services)
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Food aid (World Food Programme)
  • Mine Action (UN Mine Action Coordination Centre for Afghanistan (MACCA) and Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining)
  • Support for conflict-affected populations (International Committee of the Red Cross)
  • Support for coordination of humanitarian efforts (Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
  • Shelter support for vulnerable returning Afghan refugees (UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Livestock feed for vulnerable populations (Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Australian supported programs in 2009–10[6]

By 2009–­10 the Australian aid program entered a phase of expansion with a special focus on Uruzgan province where the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has a presence and is part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) led by Australia.

At the national level:

  • supported the extension of basic health services through the Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS).
  • supported the development of school infrastructure and teacher training through the Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP).
  • helped build the capacity of four ministries—health, education, agriculture and rural rehabilitation and development—through a program of scholarships, training and technical assistance.
  • improved access health services by supporting ten International Committee of the Red Cross health care centres in south Afghanistan.
  • trained 30 master teacher trainers in Malaysia through the Malaysia Australia Education Project.
  • supported the return of displaced Afghans through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
  • provided $6 million to support the World Food Program.
  • introduced stress tolerant wheat and maize varieties through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

In Uruzgan Province:

  • drought relief, food security and the provision of basic health and hygiene education.
  • demining and mine risk education—training of 117 local people and the clearing of 132 328 square metres of contaminated land.
  • employment generation—the rehabilitation of 6 km of road which created 17 397 labour days of employment.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) contribution

The primary objective of the AFP mission to Afghanistan, Operation Illuminate, is to train, develop and mentor Afghan National Police (ANP) in Uruzgan Province. This operation is undertaken in conjunction with Afghan and coalition efforts.[7]

During the period 2007–­2010, the AFP assisted in training some 650 Afghan National Police officers in Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan Province.[8]

As a result of extra funding of $32.1 million over two years announced in the 2010–11 Budget the total number of AFP officers deployed in Afghanistan has increased to 28, up from 22 in 2009.[9]

On 1 January 2011 ‘following recent reports in Australian media’, the AFP issued a media release to ‘clarify its role in Afghanistan’:[10]

AFP members are currently deployed in three Afghan locations:

- 21 members at Tarin Kowt involved in training and mentoring Afghan National Police

- Three members at Kandahar with the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A), the Joint Regional ANP Centre and the Counter Narcotics Joint Interagency Task Force Afghanistan

- Four members at Kabul providing command for the AFP Mission, liaison with the NTM-A and providing support to countering serious criminality through engagement in the International Operations Coordination Centre (IOCC) and training the Afghan Major Crime Task Force.

These roles relate directly to training the ANP and assisting in the development of ANP capabilities to deal with criminality in Afghanistan. While some of these roles require the handling of criminal intelligence, the AFP does not engage in the transfer of law enforcement information for any purpose except those associated with developing the ANP and supporting the ANP in targeting serious criminality by investigation and prosecution through the Afghan Criminal Justice system.

The AFP provided support to the Afghan Threat Finance Cell (ATFC) to assist the ANP in identifying persons involved in illicit narcotics and to support ANP investigations and prosecutions through the Afghan Criminal Justice system. The AFP’s involvement to the ATFC was discontinued in April 2010 in line with the AFP’s increased focus on training and developing the ANP in Uruzgan Province.

Reconstruction and relief assistance by the Australian Defence Force (ADF)

The ADF has spent $252 million in ODA eligible expenditure over the past four years. Of this amount only $37 million was spent directly on projects, the remaining being ‘the net additional costs of ADF personnel, support and associated costs’. According to the Department of Defence: [11]

The ADF provides Trade Training and Managed Works contributions to the civilian led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Uruzgan. The Provincial Reconstruction Team is currently led by a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officer and determines how these capabilities will be employed in the socio-economic development of Uruzgan. The ADF is not responsible for these development plans, but provides these capabilities to the Whole of Government effort. The ADF also provides security and support to the Australian Government Officials in Uruzgan Province.

Lower level monitoring of managed work projects and trade training output is undertaken by the ADF. The ADF does not independently evaluate the development impact of these projects. The comprehensive assessment of development projects in Afghanistan is done by the International Security Assistance Force. International Security Assistance Force reporting is monitored by the Provincial Reconstruction Team and the ADF to ensure that projects provide the necessary impact in Uruzgan Province.

The ADF’s spend for Official Development Assistance (ODA) Aid in Afghanistan is as follows:

2006–07 $46.479 million

2007–08 $70.360 million

2008–09 $84.416 million

2009–10 $41.071 million

In accordance with arrangements agreed with AusAID, Defence reports expenses incurred with the delivery of Official Development Assistance. In the case of Afghanistan this includes allowances, logistics support and other costs of personnel deployed undertaking Reconstruction Tasks.

Tables 3 to 6 provide details of ODA eligible expenditure by the ADF.[12]

Table 3: Expenditure by the ADF on projects: 2006–07

Trade Training Centre

$111 091.62

Tarin Kot Boys School

$88 076.73

Tarin Kot Hospital

$629 230.64

National Directorate of Security Compound

$340 348.76

Eastern Causeway

$308 006.06

Sedfidkar Flood Mitigation

$11 730.19

Western Checkpoint

$43 613.07

Eastern Checkpoint

$12 460.63

Women’s Training Project

$3 682.48

Yaklenga Health Centre

$164 565.55

Uruzgan Wells

$18 103.23

Talani School

$92 050.73

Afghan Health and Dev. Services Training Facility

$4 890.21


$1 827 849.90

Net additional expenditure on ADF personnel, support and associated costs: $44.7 million.

Table 4: Expenditure by the ADF on projects: 2007–08

Eastern Causeway

$723 713.20

Tarin Kot Hospital

$963 508.03

Eastern Checkpoint

$13 442.24

Western Checkpoint

$57 670.61

National Directorate of Security Compound

$449 173.73

Women’s Training Project

$3 253.79

Tarin Kot Boys School

$677 964.99

Trade Training Centre

$95 475.02

Sedfidkar Flood Mitigation

$158 037.47

Tarin Kot Waste Management

$95 166.15

Afghan Health and Dev. Services Training Facility

$848 269.40

Yaklenga Health Centre

$360 865.30

Talani School

$81 334.75

Uruzgan Wells

$63 620.65

Min. Of Rural Recon. & Dev. Compound Refurb

$5 597.68

Forward Operating Base Locke

$911 659.23

Governor’s Compound

$111 502.01

Baluchi Crossing

$368 638.49

Naway Waleh School

$136 723.91

Patrol Base Liddiard

$20 593.22

Patrol Base Worseley

$40 045.72

Patrol Base Baluchi

$1 334,650.98

Baluchi Community Project


Civilian & Military Cooperation Engagement

$48 421.05


$7 750 108.16

Net additional expenditure on ADF personnel, support and associated costs: $62.8 million.

Table 5: Expenditure by the ADF on projects: 2008–09

Eastern Causeway

$20 155.14

Tarin Kot Hospital

$548 065.44

National Directorate of Security Compound

$20 315.63

Tarin Kot Boys  High School

$1 289 478.73

Afghan Health and Dev. Services Training Facility

$886 509.30

Talani School

$2 340.51

Tarin Kot Boys Primary School

$1 298 466.63

Sorkh Morghab Basic Health Centre

$1 356 731.76

Dorofshan Basic Health Care Centre

$354 024.34

Min. of Rural Recon. & Dev. Compound Refurb

$125 786.09

Baluchi Crossing

$399 419.55

Talani Crossing

$2 674.87

Tarin Kot Wells – various locations

$309 989.88

Kowtwal Crossing

$3 152,356.29

Ministry Of Energy & Water Compound

$15 621.24

Patrol Base Qudus

$364 637.94

Baluchi Community Projects

$364 341.63

Sorkh Morghab Community Projects

$589 925.10

Patrol Base Khoma

$2 544 140.70

Zabul Bridges

$1 203.69

Afghan Army Patrol Base Winterisation

$200 060.60



Net additional expenditure on ADF personnel, support and associated costs: $70.6 million.

Table 6: Expenditure by the ADF on projects: 2009–10

Irish Crossing Refurbishment

$426 165.97

Tarin Kot Boys High School

$130 335.27

Tarin Kot Waste Management Facility

$1 163,204.17

Afghan Health and Dev. Services Training Facility

$40 811.70

Tarin Kot Boys Primary School

$828 397.01

Tarin Kot Hospital

$$12 881.76

Dorofshan Basic Health Centre

$110 221.06

Min of Rural Recon. & Dev. Compound Refurb

$2 294.52

Talani Crossing

$85 516.38

Tarin Kot Wells – various locations

$48 363.00

Kowtwal Crossing

$374 383.86

Ministry of Energy & Water Compound

$233 183.31

Sorgh Morghab Mosque

$232 735.52

Tarin Kot Girls School Expansion

$223 183.31

Chora Food Storage Cellars

$72 388.62

Chora Health Centre Expansion

$168 509.24

Sorkh Moghrab Community Projects

$74 097.04

Rosie Khan Mosque

$61 589.39

Patrol Base Maintenance

$72 401.09

Mirabad Basic Health Centre

$21 237.05


$3 982 177.01

Net additional expenditure on ADF personnel, support and associated costs: $37.1 million.

Defence—AusAID Partnership Agreement[13]

On 29 April 2009 AusAID and the Department of Defence signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement.

According to AusAID:

The Strategic Partnership Agreement is a principles based agreement that does not give primacy to either development or security objectives. Rather, it provides a framework for cooperation and outlines the different skills, attributes and strengths that AusAID and the Department of Defence can contribute when they work together.

Since the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement, there has been a strengthening of consultation and coordination between AusAID and the Department of Defence at all levels. This has resulted in the improved delivery of development activities where both AusAID and Defence are making valuable contributions to development and security, such as in Afghanistan, and in response to humanitarian crises, such as the recent Fiji cyclone, the Samoa and Tonga tsunami, and the Padang earthquake.

Agencies were requested in December 2009 to prepare detailed plans for additional assistance to Afghanistan.

On the 24 April 2010, the Prime Minister announced that Australia will increase its civilian effort in Afghanistan to help build the capacity of the Government of Afghanistan. The enhanced civilian contribution will be based in Kabul, Kandahar and Tarin Kowt, and in Oruzgan will complement the work being done by the Australian Defence Force to build roads and bridges, and rebuild schools.

The increase has brought the total number of Australian Government civilians working in Afghanistan to around 50 personnel.

The ADF is expected to spend $13.8 million in ODA eligible expenditure in 2011–12.[14]

Budget 2011–12

In 2011–12 ODA to Afghanistan will increase to $165.1 million (up from $141.2 million in 2010­–11). Country programs account for $124.1 million (up from $109.2 million), Regional/Global programs will be allocated $2.9 million (up from $1.3 million) and expenditure by Other Government Departments (OGDs) will be $38.1 million (up from 30.7 million).[15]

The AFP will account for $18.13 million in 2011–12; the ADF, $13.8 million; the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, $16 million; ‘and there is a small amount for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’.[16]

Uruzgan province, where the ADF and AusAID officials are deployed as part of the PRT, will also be a major beneficiary of AusAID expenditure. It will receive $30 million, up from $23 million in 2010–11.[17]

Australia’s aid to Afghanistan can be expected to increase in future years.

The Report of the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, released on 6 July 2011, also suggests that there is a ‘medium’ case for the expansion of Australian aid to Afghanistan.[18]

[1].       AusAID, Australia’s strategic approach to aid in Afghanistan 2010–12, December 2010, viewed 7 July 2011,

[2].       Information provided by AusAID, 15 October 2010.

[3].       AusAID, Contracts list 2008–09, viewed 7 July 2011,

[4].       Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, Answers to Question on Notice, Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio, Supplementary Estimates 2009–10, October 2009, Question 27, viewed 7 July 2011,

[5].       Ibid, Question 28.

[6].       AusAID, Afghanistan country page, viewed 2 October 2010,

[7].       Australian Federal Police, AFP clarifies its commitment to Afghanistan, media release, 1 January 2011, viewed 7 July 2011

[8].       Australian Federal Police, AFP deploys members to Afghanistan to train police, media release, 15 October 2010, viewed 7 July 2011

[9].       Australian Federal Police, AFP role in Afghanistan enhanced media release, 24 April 2010, viewed 7 July 2011

[10].     Australian Federal Police, AFP clarifies its commitment to Afghanistan, op. cit.

[11].     Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, Defence Portfolio, Supplementary Estimates 2010–11, October 2010, Question W9, viewed 7 July 2011,

[12].     Adapted from answer to Question W9, ibid.

[13].     Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, Answers to Questions on Notice, Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio, Additional Estimates 2009–10, February 2010, Question 16, viewed 7 July 2011,

[14].     Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, Estimates, Senate, 2 June 2011, p. 86, viewed 7 July 2011,

[15].     AusAID, Aid Budget Statement 2011–12, p. 46, viewed 7 July 2011,

[16].     Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, op. cit., pp. 85–86.

[17].     Ibid.

[18].     Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, Commonwealth of Australia, April 2011, p. 234, viewed 7 July 2011,

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